Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction Launches at the UN Climate Change Conference

By Caroline Massie
Architect Magazine, Dec 4, 2015

Image: Workers install a logo on the facade of the U.N Climate Conference in Le Bourget, outside Paris. Courtesy of Architect Magazine, Associated Press, photo by Christophe Ena(Image: Workers install a logo on the facade of the U.N Climate Conference in Le Bourget, outside Paris. Courtesy of Architect Magazine, Associated Press, photo by Christophe Ena)

More than 60 organizations and 18 countries pledge to limit carbon emissions from the built environment.

Thursday at the United Nations (U.N.) Climate Change Conference’s first ever “Buildings Day,” more than 60 international organizations and 18 countries and territories announced a partnership aimed at mobilizing international resources for developing climate-resilient solutions for member cities, regions, and countries, and for scaling up current initiatives to tackle climate change in the built environment. The newly-formed Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC)’s plans align with global efforts to limit the average atmospheric temperature to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels.

GABC’s partners, which will actively engage in the alliance’s governance, include countries, local governments, intergovernmental institutions, large professional networks, and international associations. The participating countries and territories are: Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Senegal, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Its initial organizations include Architecture 2030, the International Union of Architects, the World Green Building Council, the World Resources Institute, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Read more…

Diabetes Prevention Is a Job for Architects, Says Professor

By The Early Edition
CBC News, Dec 2, 2015

Image: McGill professor Avi Friedman believes that if entire communities lent themselves to a more active lifestyle, the people living there will be less prone to obesity and diabetes. Courtesy of CBC(Image: McGill professor Avi Friedman believes that if entire communities lent themselves to a more active lifestyle, the people living there will be less prone to obesity and diabetes. Courtesy of CBC)

According to an architecture professor at McGill University, doctors aren’t the only ones who should be at the forefront of the fight against diabetes.

Avi Friedman sees reducing diabetes as a planning and design challenge too.

Living a sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for developing diabetes, and Friedman says planning and building communities that promote physical activity will help reduce the instances of diabetes. Read more…

The Best Architecture Books of 2015

by Rowan Moore
The Guardian, Dec 7, 2015

Image: An Eames office design from the ‘handsome’ World of Ray and Charles Eames. Courtesy of The Guardian, photo by Eames Office

(Image: An Eames office design from the ‘handsome’ World of Ray and Charles Eames. Courtesy of The Guardian, photo by Eames Office)

A new warmth towards brutalism, handsome volumes on Charles and Ray Eames, Le Corbusier, and George Gilbert Scott’s prodigious gothic output

A striking aspect of Elain Harwood’s Space, Hope and Brutalism (Yale University Press), a hefty survey of postwar British architecture, is that it isn’t about brutalism precisely, but about this and many other styles of architecture. So it seems that someone, her publishers maybe, inserted the B-word because they thought it would help to sell the book. Which no doubt it does. Because brutalism, once the encapsulation in three-and-a-half syllables of everything thought hateful about modern architecture, a word whose inventors didn’t even want to sound nice, is now exciting, sexy, intriguing. Which could have been predicted: baroque and gothic were once also terms of abuse.

Owen Hatherley has done more than most to bring about this reappraisal, and this year further pushed the boundaries of received taste with Landscapes of Communism (Allen Lane), a loving exploration of the housing estates, TV towers and bureaucratic palaces built by eastern bloc countries in the Soviet era. It has the merit of confronting you with an alternative reality – in this case a different version of 20th-century architecture – to the one you thought you knew. The book is the outcome of epic travelling through places most architecture writers never visit. It also tries, with varying degrees of success, to reconcile Hatherley’s beliefs that both communism and modernism have been wrongly written off. Read more…

Call for Presenters to Banff Session 2016

AAA Call for Presenters to Banff Session 2016Be a vital part of Banff Session 2016! Contribute to the professions of architecture and interior design by submitting a presentation that will incite thought and spark discussion.

The Banff Session, held at the Banff Springs Hotel, is one of the most prestigious bi-annual gathering of architects and design professional in Alberta. The people, the ideas, the environment, the setting – it all comes together for an unforgettable experience that comes every two years.

The Alberta Association of Architects invites you to consider being a part of the event by making a presentation.

Visit the AAA website for more information on the Call for Presenters.

Proposals must be submitted to Jenine Cerny, Communications Senior Manager, at no later than 4 p.m. on January 4, 2016.

BC Building Code Revision: Effective December 11, 2015

The BC Building Code was amended by ministerial order on November 17, 2015, with changes effective December 11, 2015. View the revisions.

Parts 1, 3, 4, 5, and 9 are revised. Online versions of the code will display the changes as of the effective date, however holders of hard copies are advised to update their codes manually with the changes.

No replacement pages have been issued at this time.

Visit the BC Codes website for additional information.

Webinar: Windows, Doors and Skylights Code Changes
Wednesday, December 16, 2015 10am-12:30pm

Presented by:
Office of Housing and Construction Standards
Building and Safety Standards Branch

Honourable Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing, has approved changes to the 2012 BC Building Code requirements for the construction and performance criteria for windows, doors and skylights conforming to the North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS). The package of changes also includes some minor revisions to energy and ventilation requirements for Part 9 housing, and requirements for stainless steel piping. The revised requirements come into effect on December 11, 2015.

The North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS) came into effect in December 2013 and the new energy and ventilation requirements for low-rise housing in December 2014. These code requirements introduced major changes and some complex implementation challenges. The revisions were developed through extensive consultation with the residential construction sector, including manufacturers of windows, doors and skylights, building officials, building specifiers and designers and building officials.

The goal of the changes to requirements for windows, doors and skylights was to clarify and streamline compliance for BC’s unique custom based industry while maintaining the trade advantages of the NAFS. These changes give manufacturers greater flexibility in providing cost effective and code compliant windows, doors and skylights, while still providing an appropriate level of health, safety and accessibility.

Key changes to the NAFS requirements include:

  • Clarification of scope in Part 5 and Part 9
  • Simplified Performance Grade and Driving Rain and Wind Pressure
  • (DRWP) rating calculation in Part 9
  • Changes to address the use of limited water rating doors
  • New compliance path for site-built products

Please join us for a webinar explaining these code changes.

Registration and More Information

  • There is no cost to participate, but registration is required.
  • Please feel free to distribute.
  • Register via email by Friday, December 11, 2015 to

Travelling Exhibit: Dutch Design Supermodels

Travelling Exhibit: Dutch Design Supermodels Dec 15-Jan 11Dudoc (Dutch Urban Design Centre) Vancouver in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Netherlands is excited to present the Dutch Design Supermodels travelling exhibit that showcases the ingenuity of design and architecture from the Netherlands. Supermodels combines different design aspects; architecture, interior and product design. View 3-D printed scale models of a centry’s worth of iconic buildings and chairs designed by great Dutch architects, such as Gerrit Rietveld, Marcel Wanders and Bruno Ninaber van Eyben.

After having travelled to Salone del Mobile 2014 in Milan, Stedeljik Museum in Amsterdam, and Erasmushuis in Jakarta, the exhibit is making its way to Vancouver. With this, Supermodels creates a broad overview of the creativity of Dutch designers, artists and architects that gained worldwide attention over the last 100 years.

Date: Dec 15-Jan 11, closed Dec 23-Jan 3
Location: Dudoc Vancouver, 100 – 1445 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

For more information on the exhibit and opening hours, visit the Dudoc Vancouver website.

eNews Holiday Schedule

Please be advised eNews will not be distributed on December 24 or 31. eNews will return on January 7, 2016.

Best wishes for a very happy holiday season!

If you have any questions or require assistance, please email

Paul Becker to Step Down as AIBC Director of Professional Services

Paul BeckerAfter 40 years of professional practice, the last six of which have been enjoyed at the AIBC, Paul Becker Architect AIBC P.Eng. has decided to reduce his work load and step down from the role of Director of Professional Services as of March 1, 2016.

In Paul’s words, “I look forward to spending more time with family, friends and a number of photographic and other projects. I thank you all for the respect, good humour and support we have all shared over the years and look forward to our continued relationship.”

Paul has been an effective and thoughtful leader who has contributed immensely to the AIBC, not only to the Professional Services department but to the whole organization. We are fortunate to have worked with Paul and wish him and his family all the best during this transition to a new adventure.

The posting for the position of Director of Professional Services can be found here. If you have any questions, please contact Mark Vernon, AIBC’s ED/CEO, at